Speaking to the Northern Echo, English midfielder Cattermole has highlighted the differences between Gus Poyet and Dick Advocaat.
He said: “The manager is different to Gus but he is firm, strict and we want to follow what he says. He has a sense of humour. He will say something and you think he was having a go but then he will smile.
“He is very experienced and we just have to follow him in what he wants to do. He has been very firm with the team straight away. He is involved in every session.”
Poyet came under criticism for his training sessions at the Stadium of Light, and it was clear that when players took to the field that they were not motivated to turn out for the Black Cats.
In Advocaat’s first game in charge, despite falling to a late loss to West Ham, the players put in a good performance, and showed some real improvements from their time under the Uruguayan boss.
Not only had Advocaat changed the tactical set-up - preferring an attacking 4-3-3 to the flat 4-5-1 of Poyet - but the selected XI looked motivated to turn out for the Wearside club.
The same performance levels will be needed this weekend if Sunderland intend to overcome local rivals Newcastle and claim just their third home win of the season.
Three points are surely needed if the Black Cats want to start the final season run-in in good form, and if another loss is registered, it would be hard to see the club staying in the top flight.
Thankfully for Sunderland fans, Cattermole's words make it sound as if the squad are fond of Advocaat, and will do whatever he says to improve the team. The same could not be said of Poyet in his last weeks in charge, and maybe the uplift in mentality on Wearside will do enough to improve the team’s fortunes in the final weeks of the season.